Story Behind the Song: Maddie & Tae, ‘Die From a Broken Heart’
In their song "Die From a Broken Heart," Maddie & Tae are calling Mom and Dad for advice. Written by Maddie Marlow and Tae Dye along with Jonathan Singleton and Deric Ruttan, the song examines a devastating breakup through a call home: "How does he sleep at night / Mama, the nerve of this guy / To leave me, so easy," Maddie & Tae sing in the chorus. "Am I gonna be alright? / I wanna kick myself for fallin' so hard / Mama, can you you from a broken heart?"
Marlow, Dye, Singleton and Ruttan wrote "Die From a Broken Heart" while Maddie & Tae were going through a tumultuous time: not a romantic breakup, but the shuttering of their record label, Dot Records. The duo is now signed with Universal Music Nashville, but the change has delayed their sophomore album and, for a while, left Marlow and Dye uncertain about the future of their career.
Below, Marlow and Dye recall writing "Die From a Broken Heart," how it mirrors their real lives and how the song gave Dye the courage to own up to her struggles with her parents.
Maddie Marlow: So we wrote it with Jonathan Singleton and Deric Ruttan, two of our favorite writers in town ... Those were two writers that we really gelled with because they love writing from a deeper place, so we just really connect with them on that.
So anyways, we walked into the write, and Jonathan actually had the title, and we were like, "How can we approach this in a -- what's the most relatable way that we can make this?" And then once we kind of started talking about what we were going through -- 'cause we wrote this right when we were about to start transitioning labels. We were still in the in between, and we were feeling broken and feeling defeated at this point in our career -- maybe not in a relationship, but in our career, we were really, really having a hard time [with] the unknown and the uncertainty.
And when he mentioned that title, we were like, "Oh my gosh!" At least [once] -- maybe even twice -- a day we call our parents, and we're like, "What do we do? Is this the end of the world? What's happening?" Because your parents are invincible; I feel like that's something for everyone, or at least for both of us, we feel that way. And we wanted to write this song where, you could feel it from the mom's perspective, from the girl's perspective, from the dad's perspective ... Whatever character you connect with, you heard their perspective.
But I would say it was probably a harder song to write, [because we were] trying not to get too emotional and just write the best song. But now, when we play it out, and I think back to that day and what a rough time that was -- oh my gosh, I wish I could have shown myself [where we'd be right now]. I get choked up a little bit!
Tae Dye: Well, 'cause I remember, when we wrote the song -- it's obviously about calling your parents and asking for advice -- I was scared to call my parents about telling them that the label had shut down. You want your parents to think you're doing good, and for me, I just know that when I call my parents and tell them something that I'm going through, they're gonna feel all of that pain with me, and I just want to save them from that, and I wanted to save them from that.
So, the day we wrote that song, it was actually my -- it kicked me in gear to be like, "Okay, I can call my parents. They may not know what to say, but at least they're gonna be there for me."
Marlow: My dad does have a pistol in his drawer, so it's like -- it's very real, and I just feel like, even when I got my heart broken -- the many times that I've had my heart broken -- that's my Texas dad. Like, that is such a thing ... With that second verse, we felt like it elevated the song a little bit ...
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